Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

where is my recovery?


Over the previous couple of days a friend and I have been exchanging email messages about, well, about a lot of things, but one thing that was brought up was her concern regarding my current body image and my current feelings/obsession about exercise.  I was initially upset that she would challenge me like that, and that’s how I took it, as a challenge.  So I sat with it for a day or two before responding and told her I was upset and why (wow–healthy communication!).  And she was glad I told her how I was feeling.  And as I think about it, I’m glad I have people in my life who will pick up on things and call me out on them in an appropriate manner and will let me express myself as I did.

So what about my current body image dissatisfaction?  And what about my recent obsession with exercise?

In all honesty, I don’t believe them to be part of my eating disorder.  They are a response to a body that changed significantly in the three months post-surgery and a mind that has had to adjust to a difficult cardiac diagnosis that took away part of how I defined myself.  There is a way I can tell that my body image isn’t part of my eating disorder, and neither is my obsession about what I can’t/can do regarding exercise: although I am upset about the situation, there hasn’t been a moment of me thinking about engaging in any behaviors to alter things.  I haven’t changed my eating habits, nor have I disobeyed the doctor’s recommendations and neither have I gone on super long walks to make up for the fact that I can’t walk fast or run.

There is this deep seated knowledge that I need to take care of me–even more than I did before.  I don’t think anyone can “afford” to relapse, but I know it could do immediate and severe damage to my heart, and I am not willing to do anything that will damage my heart.

I think that what I am going through right now is normal for someone in my situation.  ARVD is a shitty diagnosis to receive and the online support I belong has a lot of posts that echo my above feelings.  I wrote in a previous entry that I’ve accepted this new body on a cognitive level, but that I’m not okay with it.  I still don’t know if the lessening of exercise restrictions will result in a change of body shape or how long that will take.  It may be that I will have to learn how to be okay with where I’m at right here, right now.  And although I don’t like the idea of that, I know I’ll be able to do it.  After all, I’ve done it before.

So where is my recovery?  The same place it was before.  Right here.  I will remain nestled into it and stay comforted by it.

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November 2, 2009 - Posted by | Body Image, Eating Disorders, heart, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I’m sorry that you are going though this. I know that when the body goes it can cause a lot of problems. And this was totaly outside of your control. But you can still have a full life, you just have to do a few things a little different.

    Big HUG! And I’m happy you are not using your ED to compensate.

    Comment by David | November 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. in a sense, i completely sympathize. i don’t have ARVD, but i’m a year post-c section, and pregnancy plus major abdominal surgery at 36 will seriously change the way you look for a while. a long while. like maybe permanently, in some ways. i know how it feels to be “cognitively okay with it” but not truly accepting of a body that’s different from where you were the day life changed, as it were. it’s uncomfortable. you know how easily you could “fix” it, but you also know it’s no fix at all and in no way worth the price you’d pay for even taking a single step down that road. press on….sometimes that’s the best we can do, right?

    Comment by Michelle | November 2, 2009 | Reply


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